Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Egyptian

Now that Costume College is over and the last minute sewing insanity which was zapping all my time is at an end, I can finally post about the costumes I made for the con! I didn't finish nearly as many as I intended or wanted, but I was very happy with how the few I did complete in time turned out.

First up, I very quick and dirty Egyptian costume for the Thursday night pool party. This costume was really done at the last minute (like...3AM two nights before we flew sort of last minute), so the construction is definitely not the greatest. But, after watching the Tut miniseries only a few nights before, I was feeling inspired!

I had made a trip to the nearest Joann's and happened to come across...some truly hideous silver fabric. I had been hunting for some sort of pleated fabric, and there it was - shiny and silver, looking like tin foil and feeling rather spongy. It was horrendous. But the "wrong" side of the fabric was this lovely aqua color! Huzzah!

I wasn't worried about historical accuracy at all, I just wanted something vaguely Egyptian looking with a nod toward some of the on-screen looks from Egypt-based films.  I started with a bodice pattern for a Regency cross-front that I'd drafted earlier this year and cut a muslin, which I then tweaked while it was pinned to the mannequin. The shoulder was widened to allow for the addition of some decorative pleats, and the cross-front was extended to cover my bosom a bit better.

Since the fabric was stupidly expensive, I had only purchased three yards of the stuff. The skirt, therefore, was an exercise in creative fabric cutting. I ended up with a sort of A-line skirt. I attached it to the waist as best I could, but this fabric did not want to cooperate. The stitches would not stay in the spongy fabric, and there were large gaps in the seam where no stitch had penetrated this stupid fabric. Did I care? Hell no! It was 3AM! I was running purely on caffeine and panic! I covered up that seam with a belt and called it good!

At the last minute I decided to make some flowy shoulder thingies, so I took the last scrap of long fabric that I had and created a couple of wing doohickeys. They were pleated to the shoulder seam and tacked together at the center back to keep them in place.

The night before the flight to Costume College, I put together a last minute Nefertiti-style hat. I started with some plastic cross-stitch canvas cut to a long strip. I tried it on around my head and quickly saw that I needed to add a gusset at the back in order to get the right angle, and to taper the top line down toward my forehead so that the top edge had the right shape. With a bit of trimming, futzing, and lots of hot glue, I finally had the right shape. Once that was achieved, I simply cut an oval out for the top of the hat, and then I covered the entire thing with black taffeta. The gold band was a bit of pleather trim from Joann's.

The part I took the most time with was the jewelry. I really wanted an Egyptian style collar for this outfit. It ended up being a huge money sucker. Since it was a last minute project I didn't have time to order my beads from China like I usually do, and had to purchase everything at the craft store. Even armed with a coupon and sale, it was still at least double what I would have paid if I'd had ordered them from overseas. Oh, well! I'm completely in love with this collar, I just love how it turned out. I even had enough beads and eye pins left over to make a matching bracelet! The only thing I hate is the clasp on these things. The selection at the craft store was insanely limited, so the only thing that was really workable was this huge hook and eye looking thing, in silver and not gold like the rest of the necklace. Ugh. But, it's too late to change it now, so it's staying as-is. Still, super happy with it!

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